Scotland boss Craig Levein still believes Darren Fletcher will lead his country's assault on the 2014 World Cup despite being forced to take an extended break from the game.

Manchester United revealed on Tuesday that Fletcher had compromised his own recovery from a chronic bowel complaint in order to do his duty for club and country. However, with the 27-year-old's situation giving cause for concern once more after another absence, previously attributed by the club to "a virus", the decision has been made for Fletcher to stand down.

"I am obviously absolutely devastated for Darren because I know how hard he has worked to get back to playing regularly for his club and country," said Levein.

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